Tuesday , July 7 2020
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in 2020, the paper directory is over

There will be no more White Pages in 2020. The latest edition of the directory has been distributed in recent weeks. The paper version of the Yellow Pages has a year-long respite.

The paper directory will disappear after 139 years of existence. It was created in the 19th century, inspired byParis Trade Almanac from statistician Sébastien Bottin, hence the generic name of directory. The latest paper edition of the White Pages, which lists the telephone numbers of individuals, has been distributed in recent weeks. As for the Yellow Pages (for professionals), the paper version will disappear at the end of 2020.

In 2019, nine million copies were distributed compared to 57 million in 2007. In the absence of requests, only 69 departments benefited from the White Pages for the last time. “We are going to lose a heritage object, but it was inevitable that it would stop”, explains Isabelle Lascombe, Director General of the Printed Directory.

Unseated by the internet, the directory is only a vague memory for some like this young girl met in the streets of Paris. “I knew that, but I was very small, she says. I remember a big book with names arranged in alphabetical order. ”

Professionals, today, prefer the internet to communicate, the directories were therefore less and less profitable, explains Isabelle Lascombe. “Nevertheless, in the provinces, it remained a business that stands. But with the desire of professionals to go more and more towards the creation of websites, the presence on social networks and on search engines, we were really arriving at the end of the business model for directories. “

Not easy to find users of the directory yet. Only elderly people deplore their end, confirms Isabelle Lascombe who recognizes that “overall, out of the number of directories that we distribute, this represents an extremely small percentage”. Jean, 92, preciously keeps his directory: “I don't use it often but I still have it.”

It is in a cupboard at my disposal. I lift a bottle of champagne and find it underneath.Jean, 92 years oldat franceinfo

Marcel also still uses the directory but especially the Yellow Pages. “I am of a certain agehe says. I do not use the internet and the Yellow Pages is enough for me to find medical specialists, handymen, craftsmen. “ Marcel no longer really consults the White Pages because “this is a bit old fashioned”he says.

But let the elderly be reassured, underlines the director general of the Printed Directory. “As indicated on the cover, the directories are to be kept without time limit since the telephone numbers do not change every year”. In addition, there are other ways to find information: “You always have intelligence over the phone. As a last resort, this can be a solution to find information”, recalls Isabelle Lascombe.

How do Parisians react at the end of the directory? Report by Justine Leclercq.

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